Quick Facts on Cassius
- African-American, Latin
- Number of syllables:
- Ranking popularity:
Characteristics of Cassius
Etymology & Historical Origin - Cassius
The more we learn about the name Cassius, the cooler we decide it is. Starting, of course, with the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali (aka Cassius Clay). But before we get to that, let’s take a trip back to Ancient Rome where the name first took form. The Romans were early trend setters when it came to the structure of names. Their three part naming system comprised of a praenomen (given name), a nomen (clan name) and cognomen (nickname). Cassia was a nomen (clan name) from the Latin “cassus” meaning “empty, hallow, vain”. But before we scare you away with this etymology, let’s put it in perspective. Vanity is not an altogether bad thing after all, is it? During the age of the Roman Republic the Cassii clan belonged to the patrician class. We know the name dates back to at least the 6th century B.C. in the name of Spurius Cassius Viscellinus, one of the most distinguished and highest elected officials during the infancy of the Roman Republic. After a series of war victories against the various Italian tribes surrounding ancient Rome, Cassius took it upon himself to pass a series of laws having to do with land ownership between the patricians (upper-classes) and plebeians (ordinary citizens). His efforts angered his fellow patricians who saw the laws as too plebeian-friendly. They tried Cassius as a traitor who aspired to royal power, sentenced him and executed him in a rather violent manner. From then on, the Cassius descendents (who were spared this awful end) moved from the patrician to plebeian class. Um, yah. We’d be “vain” about that injustice, too. In the first century B.C., another notable Cassius, Gaius Cassius Longinus, was (along with “et tu Brutus”) was a leading instigator behind the Julius Caesar assassination (44 B.C.). The name Cassius was sustained in the Middle Ages not because of any illustrious ancient Roman, but rather because three or four notable early Christian saints shared this name. Now let’s fast-forward to modern time: 1942 Louisville, Kentucky and the birth of Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. who was named after his father. His father, in turn, was named after a white man, Cassius Marcellus Clay, the notable Kentucky abolitionist. Trust us when we say that a wealthy landowner from the South who also happened to be anti-slavery was not exactly the most popular person in town (in fact, he was almost assassinated for it). Well that just brings us 2,500 years back to Spurius Cassius Viscellinus – another member of the elite who fought for some semblance of equality. Empty and hallow these men were not. That’s why we can’t help but to love this name – it seems fitting on a strong and dignified man despite what the etymology says. History gives us another perspective. Yet there’s something to be said about the bravado and vanity displayed by our beloved Cassius Clay.
Popularity of the Name Cassius
Cassius is a rather random name, so it has a rather sporadic history on the U.S. charts. The name does date back to the 19th century in America, but it was off the charts before the 20th century got underway. Cassius resurfaced briefly in 1964 which happened to be the year that Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali amidst all sorts of news coverage. Then the name dropped off the charts again. It has recently returned in 2008 but it appears to be having a tough time adhering to the charts. At the end of the day, Cassius is super rare and uncommon, but it’s a name to consider in our opinion. Yes, it will always bring to mind the iconic Cassius Clay, but it’s also an ancient name that has been around forever. Seriously, this is one of the oldest on our list. It’s a cool name for the bold parents. Cash is an obvious nickname (although the two are unrelated).
Popularity of the Boy Name Cassius
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Cassius
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Cassius
Cassius We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Cassius.
Popular Songs on Cassius
Cassius - a song by Foals
Children's Books on the Baby Name Cassius
Cassius Marcellus Clay: Firebrand of Freedom (H. Edward Richardson) - A biography of an outspoken Kentuckian who distinguished himself as a soldier, statesman, and an abolitionist. Recommended for ages 10-14.
I Shook Up the World: The Incredible Life of Muhammad Ali (Maryum "Maymay" Ali) - I Shook Up the World is an illustrated tribute to Muhammad Ali written by his oldest daughter, Maryum. The book tells Ali’s story from the beginning to the present—how he started boxing, earned an Olympic Gold Medal, won the heavyweight championship, worked for civil rights, and made a principled stand against the Vietnam War. Ali’s trademark rhyming, a joy to him and the bane of his opponents, is interspersed throughout the “rounds” (chapters). Young readers will appreciate Patrick Johnson’s colorful illustrations and the introduction provided by the great man himself. A historical timeline of Ali’s life is included. Recommended for ages 6-9.
King Cake for Cassius: A Mardi Gras Story (Diane Renton Boyle) - Children will learn the meaning of Mardi Gras as told by Cassius, an adorable boxer, who loves Mardi Gras. The book begins with children discussing what they're going to "be" for Mardi Gras. Cassius overhears that one of the children is unaware of the Mardi Gras tradition. She then explains that carnival season begins with the epiphany (Jan. 6 when the three wise men found baby Jesus) and ends with Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). The dog also explains many of the traditions and terms associated with Mardi Gras. The book also contains a list of activities that children can do to celebrate Mardi Gras including a recipe for King Cake, instructions on how to make a shoe box float and how to have a mini-parade. Recommended for ages 5-8.
Famous People Named Cassius
Famous People Named Cassius - Cassius Clay (boxing legend); Cassius Vaughn (football player)
Children of Famous People Named Cassius
Famous People Who Named Their Son Cassius - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Cassius.
Cassius - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures
Cassius Clay (17 Jan 1942 – Present) - Muhammad Ali (née Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.) is an American icon, loved by some, hated by others, but hardly ever ignored. Born January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky, Cassius Clay rose to fame by winning an Olympic Gold Medal for boxing in the 1960 Olympics and went on to even greater acclaim as a three-time World Heavyweight champion, making the game glamorous to a much wider audience than usual in the early to mid sixties. A handsome man, a powerful fighter, and a lyrical wit, he reached the masses with his good looks and quotable charm. Converting to Islam in 1964, after having been recruited by Malcolm X, he changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali. He was subsequently stripped of his title when he refused to fight in Vietnam, famously asserting: “I ain’t got no fight with them Viet Cong…” His conviction as a draft dodger was later overturned. Operating under the assertion that in the ring he could “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”, Muhammad Ali maintained the title over such luminaries as Archie Moore, George Foreman, Sonny Liston, Ken Norton and Joe Frazier. He was forced into retirement after the onset of Parkinson’s Disease. In his later years, Muhammad Ali has been a kind of elder statesman, giving time and money to various charities and causes. President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. His life story was made into a very successful movie called Ali in 2001, starring Will Smith, who was nominated for an Oscar for the role. Married four times, he is the father of nine children.
Personality of the Boy Name Cassius
The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged. They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.
Variations of the Baby Name - Cassius